Archive for the ‘Marketing 911’ Category

Search Engine Optimized Press Releases

June 15, 2008

My last post talked about how press releases have evolved from words on paper (or email) to living multimedia documents that can include video, Web links, images and new methods of distribution such as online press releases.

This post will focus on online press releases, a key denominator in the evolution of the press release. Press releases that are distributed online are typically labeled “search engine optimized (SEO) press releases.” SEO press releases can be used to achieve several PR goals, including: to reach reporters that subscribe to online press release distribution feeds; to communicate directly to consumers; to build an online presence; and to build traffic to websites or other online portals (through linking).

Keep in mind that there are two key components to SEO press releases: key words and distribution.

Selecting the right key words for your SEO press release is an integral part of your online PR strategy. Selecting key words that are “top-of-mind” among your target audience during online searches will help push your release to the top of search engines such as YAHOO! and Google. For example, say that you are Ralph’s AC/Heating Company writing a press release about “Tips for Staying Cool in the Summer Heat.” A few of the key words for your release might include “how to stay cool in the summer” or “beating the heat.” Undoubtedly, people living in places with near-record heat are searching for these terms.

Of course, the distribution of your press releases also is an important part of this process. In a nutshell, when you partner with an online press release distribution service, your press release is placed on the service provider’s website and distributed via an RSS feed to reporters and top search engines. Other websites that subscribe to this feed might also carry your release if the content is a fit.

As I mentioned in my last post, PR Newswire and PRWeb are probably two of the better-known services on the market for online press release distribution. PR Newswire is arguably the most established provider out there. PRWeb has built a solid reputation for its affordability and expertise in optimizing press releases for search engines. No matter who you select as a service provider, the price of your distribution will depend on what level of service you choose. There also are several free online news distribution services on the market. I’ve used one called I-Newswire with pretty good results, although a Google ad is placed on the free releases. This provider also offers another distribution option without an ad for a minimal fee. A web search will give you a large selection of fee and non-fee providers of online press release distribution. Review your options carefully and base your final decision on your desired results and budget.

SEO press releases should be part of a public relations strategy that also includes traditional “direct-to-reporter” distribution of press releases and relationship building with key media contacts. A front-page (positive) story in your local newspaper is still a solid score for your company’s brand and reputation (you can even add to your SEO PR strategy by blogging on your news coverage and linking to press stories). When used together, traditional and online PR pack a powerful punch that generates awareness of your business that hopefully translates into sales.

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About Kristina Hill

An expert in marketing communications, Kristina Hill provides integrated marketing consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses through MarComm Creative Group, LLC. The business offers an array of services, including: public relations and media relations; media planning and placement; integrated marketing plan development and execution; and article, website, advertising, editorial, and sponsorship writing.

Related Topics:

  1. The Ever-Evolving Press Release
  2. 5 Marketing Ideas to Recession-Proof Your Business
  3. Simple Tools To Monitor Market Trends
  4. The Right Idea, The Right Time
  5. Finding Keywords for Great SEO Results
  6. Court the Press: Your Online News Room
  7. Add Video to Your Press Releases

What Should I do Next?
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The Ever-Evolving Press Release

June 8, 2008

I was reviewing content on a few press release distribution sites and was amazed at how far press releases have come. Not so long ago, a press release constituted basic copy on paper that was distributed to select reporters in an effort to secure “ink.”

Now, press releases in today’s Web 2.0 world have evolved to include links, video, photos, and even social media tags. Releases can be distributed using a “standard” direct-to-reporter method or distributed online to not only reach the news media, but individuals with access to the Web across the world. This new model for press releases (labeled by some as multimedia news releases) allows businesses of all types and sizes to tell their story with a 360 degree message – and garner critical feedback from key audiences.

The websites for PR Newswire and PRWeb house great examples of basic and not-so-basic releases that include some or all of the features mentioned above (of course, these releases vary by price depending on how elaborate the release is). You might also want to read the recent post by John Easton about the importance of having PR video in your marketing arsenal.

Learning about these new models for press releases might motivate you to adopt a fresh approach for your next release and share your story in an innovative way. And remember, no matter how elaborate your press release is, the main goal is to tell a compelling story that positions your businesses in a positive light both today and in the long-run.

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About Kristina Hill

An expert in marketing communications, Kristina Hill provides integrated marketing consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses through MarComm Creative Group, LLC. The business offers an array of services, including: public relations and media relations; media planning and placement; integrated marketing plan development and execution; and article, website, advertising, editorial, and sponsorship writing.

Related Topics:

  1. 5 Marketing Ideas to Recession-Proof Your Business
  2. Simple Tools To Monitor Market Trends
  3. The Right Idea, The Right Time
  4. Court the Press: Your Online News Room
  5. Add Video to Your Press Releases

What Should I do Next?
Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz

5 Marketing Ideas To Recession-Proof Your Business

June 1, 2008

Two-thirds of 52 leading economists in a recent USA Today poll believe that “the U.S. economy is in a recession.”

The natural inclination for some businesses, especially small and mid-sized operations, might be to scale back on marketing activities in an effort to save money. Though this is a challenging time, there’s also a great opportunity to roll out a few cost-effective marketing tactics to keep your company’s name in the public eye. Here are five marketing ideas that can help you recession-proof your business:

  1. Launch an e-newsletter: An e-newsletter is an affordable way to stay connected to your customers and attract new business. Start collecting email addresses from your customers to build your database – and even invite them to contribute ideas. There are services on the market that distribute to and manage the contacts for e-newsletters. Constant Contact is probably the most popular. This newsletter will represent your company so think carefully about its design, name, and editorial layout.
  2. Sponsor a Community Event: Sponsoring a community event can generate awareness about your business and show your commitment to the community. Identify an upcoming community event that aligns with the core value of your business and find out how you can help. Sponsorship contributions don’t always have to be in the form of cash. If you own a restaurant, donate food. If you operate a graphic design firm, volunteer to build a website or design fliers. Be creative and lend a hand.
  3. Jumpstart your public relations activities: Public relations is a good tool to use as a marketing tactic because it generates free media coverage. Think about an interesting angle for your business and the services you offer, then write a press release and distribute to a targeted list of media contacts.
  4. Start (or continue) advertising: Now is not the time to slack up on your advertising – you need to communicate with the public. Pinpoint several print or broadcast outlets (or even websites) that appeal to your target audience and place a call to the outlet’s sales rep. They can help you put together an ad campaign that’s within your budget.
  5. Keep your eye on the goal – your customers: Your customers are the backbone of your business. Find new ways to serve them that takes the pinch out of the economic downturn. Do you need to offer more specials or bundle services? Learn what your customers need and try to deliver. Keep them happy, and you will be, too.

How are you using marketing to recession-proof your business?

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About Kristina Hill

An expert in marketing communications, Kristina Hill provides integrated marketing consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses through MarComm Creative Group, LLC. The business offers an array of services, including: public relations and media relations; media planning and placement; integrated marketing plan development and execution; and article, website, advertising, editorial, and sponsorship writing.

Related Topics:

  1. The Right Idea, The Right Time
  2. Simple Tools To Monitor Market Trends
  3. Does Your Brand Travel
  4. Your Own Media Juggernaut
  5. If You Don’t Do PR Video Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later
  6. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

What Should I do Next?
Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz

Marketing 911: Crisis Assistance Ministry

May 1, 2008

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Click to Learn About Crisis Assistance Ministry
[blip.tv ?posts_id=877792&dest=-1]

The dedicated folks over at Crisis Assistance Ministry are looking for marketing suggestions to improve their ability to build awareness about the incredible program of work the agency provides in assisting people in financial crisis and helping them move toward self-sufficiency. Click the image above to watch a video on the Crisis Assistance Ministry need.

To date, the management team has been scraping by with meager marketing resources.  Using these limited resources the communications team has been able to build a functional website and printed a suite of collateral materials but they are looking for ideas in the areas of general marketing, public relations and new media to help them “get the word out”.

I suggest crafting a blogging strategy.  Through blogging, Crisis Assistance can draw more search engine traffic with keyword rich blog post copy, effectively capture and communicate success stories, profile staff, and bring influential people into the Crisis Assistance dialogue.

Enough with my long winded suggestion, the folks at Crisis Assistance would love to get your suggestions (click to comment).

Related Topics:

  1. Marketing 911: From WNBA to CEO Coach
  2. All Marketing 911 Features
  3. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you, subscribe to our newsletter

Marketing 911: BBB Consumer Foundation

October 11, 2007

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BBB Consumer FoundationThe Charlotte Better Business Bureau’s Consumer Foundation is a non-profit 501 C-3 entity charged with protecting older adults from various types of fraud.  Maryanne Dailey and hear board of directors are looking for some creative ideas to promote a television show currently in development.

The television program will help viewers better recognize many of the more common scams targeting senior populations and provide the appropriate information to combat fraudulent behavior.  The program will air regularly on a local access cable channel which is great but Maryanne and the foundation board are looking for other imaginative ways to attract viewers.  In addition, the group is seeking alternative ways to market and distribute the programming.

As a multimedia professional my suggestion would be to webcast the programs on the foundation’s website as well as on the websites of organizations who serve the senior community.  My suggestion is but one of many.  Please help the Better Business Bureau’s Consumer Foundation and the senior community by posting your marketing suggestions as comments to this post (click the comments link below).

Related Topics:

  1. 5 Ways the PR Store (and YOU) Can Supercharge A Seminar.
  2. Create Your Own Web TV Show
  3. All Marketing 911 discussions
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you, subscribe to our newsletter